Blue Brain: IBM and Swiss university to model human brain

Blue Brain (artist rendition)

This week saw the launch of a 10-year (or so) project between IBM and a Swiss university team to model the entire human brain. The Blue Brain project will involve building a new computer based on IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer (one of the top 5 fastest). The team will start by modelling the electrical structure of neural circuits repeated throughout the brain and then map and model their behavior. Once complete, they will move onto creating a molecular model of the neurons involved and a complete neocortex (the largest and most complex part of the human brain) before modelling the rest of the brain. The end product will then (hopefully) give us an understanding of certain malfunctions in the brain's "microcircuits" which are thought to cause psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, depression and internal doubts that Apple would ever go Intel.

[Via NewScientist]